01 June is International Children’s Day – Let’s unlock their potential

01 June is International Children’s Day – Let’s unlock their potential
Dibber International Preschools


The power of play is real

As we approach International Children’s Day on June 1st, Dibber International Preschools emphasizes the importance of pretend play in childhood development. Ursula Assis, Country Director, urges parents and educators not to overlook the power of play amidst the pursuit of academic achievements. “While the focus on achieving specific learning outcomes is important, it’s equally crucial to recognise the role of imaginative play in a child’s holistic development,” says Assis.

The Significance of Pretend Play

Pretend play, or imaginative play, is a vital part of childhood that goes beyond mere entertainment. It is integral to the developmental process, helping children explore and understand the world around them. “Engaging in pretend play allows children to use their creativity while developing critical cognitive, social, and emotional skills,” Assis explains.

Stages of Pretend Play and Developmental Milestones

Pretend play evolves as children grow, with each stage corresponding to specific developmental milestones:

  • Symbolic Play (18 to 24 months): Toddlers begin to understand object substitution, such as using a block as a phone.
  • Dramatic Play (2.5 to 3 years): Children start to enact familiar experiences, often using dolls or stuffed animals to represent people they know.
  • Role-Playing (3 years and up): Children adopt various roles from their everyday lives, enhancing their ability to navigate social situations.
  • Imaginary Objects (3 to 4 years): Preschoolers engage with elements that are not physically present, like pretending to drink from an empty cup.
  • Pretend Play with Others (3 to 4 years): This stage involves interaction with peers, where children begin to cooperate and negotiate roles in a shared play scenario.
  • Fantasy Play (4 years and up): Children delve into more complex, imaginative scenarios, often involving magical or fantastical elements.
  • Imaginary Friends (4 to 5 years): The creation of imaginary companions helps children explore different aspects of their personality and the world.

The Benefits of Pretend Play

Pretend play is more than just fun. It provides essential benefits that contribute to a child’s development:

  • Creative and Critical Thinking: Children learn to think creatively and solve problems while navigating their invented scenarios.
  • Communication and Social Skills: Engaging in role-play enhances verbal and non-verbal communication, teaching children to express themselves clearly and understand others.
  • Emotional Intelligence: By acting out different roles, children develop empathy and the ability to manage their own emotions.
  • Self-Regulation and Conflict Resolution: Pretend play often requires children to follow rules they set for themselves, helping them develop self-discipline and negotiation skills.

Celebrating International Children’s Day with a Focus on Well-being

This International Children’s Day, Dibber International Preschools celebrates the intrinsic value of play in education. “It’s essential that we provide our children with ample opportunities to engage in pretend play. This not only supports their immediate happiness and satisfaction but also contributes to their long-term well-being and success,” concludes Assis.